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Historical background.

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When the new Republic of Czechoslovakia was declared in 1918, it included a an area shaped like a horseshoe around Bohemia and Moravia, with a large number of German speaking inhabitants. This area was known as Sudetenland.


This Postal card commemorates the election which was held in Sudetenland December 4, 1938.

This German speaking Sudetenland minority was used as an excuse by Adolf Hitler to further his dream of "Ein Volk - Ein Reich - Ein Fuhrer ("One nation - One Country - One Leader").



With the co-operation of the Sudetendeutsche Partei (the Sudeten German Party) Hitler secrectly created and armed the Sudetendeutsche Freikorps (the Sudeten German Freecorps). Disturbances initiated by the Freekorps forced the Czechoslovakian Government  to mobilize his forces on the May 20, 1938. 



On September 12 a huge Nazi rally was held at Nuremburg. Hitler made his famous Sudetenland speech, were he insisted that Sudetenland should be part of Germany or they would invade Czechoslovakia.



On the September 22, 1938 the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to to meet Hitler at Bad Godesberg. 
At this meeting Hitler handed Chamberlain an ultimatum, which set out Germany's terms for a settlement of the Sudetenland question. Chamberlain was not successful in convincing Czechoslovakia to accept Hitler's terms.




Germany next  sent an ultimatum to Czechoslovakia that the problem had to be resolved by midnight September 28, 1938.

At the same time many infantry and armoured units moved close to the Czechoslovakian border.
This caused a flurry of diplomatic communication between France, England and Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain made a plea to Hitler to start negotiations.



Hitler agreed to delay his invasion 48 hours and invited the British Prime minister, the French Premier and the Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini to Munich for further talks.



The Czechoslovakian negotiators were not invited!



The september 29, 1938 talks ended with those gathered conceding to all of Hitler's demands. The only concession that was obtained to Hitler's Godesberg ultimatum was that the occupation was to be spread over the first 10 days of October. The "Munich Agreement" had been signed. 

Returning back in England, Chamberlain uttered the now familar phrase "Peace in our time".



The curtain was now raised for the beginning of the end of the history of Sudetenland and a start of a interesting philatelic story!

In Asch, Karlsbad, Konstantinbad, Niklasdorf, Reichenberg-Maffersdorf and Rumburg the stock of Czech stamps and Postal Stationary was overprinted by the Sudetengermans.



Card from Bad Godesberg canceled with a commemorative catchet of the first meeting between Hitler and Chamberlain September 22 and 23, 1938. This catchet was made locally and only in use in these two days.


Cover from Jauernig canceled with a Freecorps liberation cancel and a Czech bilingual cancel from September 22, 1938.


Card from Asch canceled with a liberation cancel with fixed date and a Czech bilingual cancel. Only 765 stamps were overprinted in Asch.


Commercial card from Reichenberg canceled with a liberation cancel which only was in use October 8, 1938. Only 2500 of this stamp were overprinted in Reichenberg-Maffershof.


Cover from Karlsbad canceled with bilingual cancel where the Czech part was removed.
Only 124 of this stamp were overprinted in Karlsbad.


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Part of cover canceled with a bilingual unaltered Czech cancel and a liberation cancel. 

Only 560 of this stamp was overprinted in Niklasdorf.



Cover from Lobendau canceled with a bilingual cancel where the Czech part was removed. The stamps were overprinted in Rumburg.


Cover from Schönborn bei Rumburg canceled with a bilingual office cancel. The stamps were overprinted in Rumburg.